Online Poker in the States has become a swirling maelstrom of legal questions, with some of the biggest sites in the world targeted by the federal government. Even for players around the world, depositing money onto a client that provides for U.S. customers might not seem like the smartest move. Enter ClubWPT, a different kind of online poker site that side steps any legal quandaries to provide the game we know and love with the backing of the famous World Poker Tour. The site operates under a sweepstake system, distinguishing it from the hordes of online poker sites who have worked on the edge of legality for so many years.
ClubWPT differs substantially from the usual online gambling sites in that you are not permitted to make any deposits. Players don’t have accounts they fund with their credit card, instead you pay a monthly fee to access the software. For around $20 a month, you get a stack of Tournament Points, which can be used to buy into different cash events. These play something like exclusive freerolls, with money-added prizes varying in size depending on the number of TPs used to enter the event.
Every player starts each day with 500 TPs. If you balance ever drops below this figure, it is automatically topped up overnight. You can of course generate more TPs by cashing in tournaments, enabling you to enter more high-value events. The prize pools on these tournaments aren’t spectacular, but a solid player could easily make a tidy profit on their $20/month investment. The largest prize pool currently available is $10,000, which pays out $1000 and a whole stack of TPs to the first place finisher.
Sadly there are no cash games on ClubWPT. The software has a whole suite of play money games which include cash tables, but that’s your lot. Players who haven’t signed up for a Premium account can still download and play these pretend games. There’s also the chance for guests to earn a little cash in the $10 Opens. Every day a couple of these freerolls are run to give players a taste of what to expect from the full ClubWPT experience.
That said, full members get more than just a few tournaments. Signing up will grant you access to a selection of pro tips, Las Vegas guides, and the chance to watch ad-free seasons of the World Poker Tour. The site operates very much more like a private members club than the open gambling halls represented by the established online operators.
Club WPT claim that with them you’ll, “never lose a dime playing online poker.” That is almost true, although you are technically paying them $20 a month for the privilege of not losing any dimes. Still, there’s a small profit to be made by the savvy tournament player at ClubWPT and there’s no need to worry about your money being grabbed by an over zealous federal prosecutor.